The Boston Bruins have been around for 95 years. Not once have they hosted a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final.
That’ll change Wednesday night when the Bruins welcome the St. Louis Blues to TD Garden for a winner-take-all showdown with Lord Stanley waiting in the wings, and Patrice Bergeron, who has spent his entire 15-year NHL career in Black and Gold, is anticipating a fired-up Boston crowd.
“We’re expecting the fans to be awesome,” Bergeron told reporters Tuesday. “The energy is going to be electric. The atmosphere — I can’t imagine how it’s going to be like. Obviously, you have to manage that in a way, use it to your advantage and use that energy but also make sure you’re focused on the game.”
The Bruins have been to the Stanley Cup Final three times in nine seasons. They won hockey’s ultimate prize in 2011, fell short in 2013 and now sit one victory shy of reaching the top of the mountain for the 2018-19 campaign after staving off elimination Sunday night with a 5-1 win over the Blues in Game 6.
Several players on the current roster, including Bergeron, are well-aware of what it takes to secure a championship, and that experience could serve the Bruins well as they prepare for an emotional Game 7 on their home ice. The Blues, conversely, haven’t won a title in their 52-year history.
“We know how both feelings are like,” said Bergeron, who was part of the Bruins team that defeated the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 and the Boston squad that lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. “You put everything on the line for two, two and a half months to get to this point, so you’ve got to enjoy, be in the moment and give everything you’ve got.”
Bruins fans, like the team itself, will have an opportunity to give everything they’ve got Wednesday night when Boston looks to clinch its first Stanley Cup title on home ice since 1970.